Tough competition and key injuries characterize the start of the Vols 2017 season.
The 2017 Vols lacrosse team started the season with an early trip to Nashville for a Friday night rivalry game against a strong Vanderbilt squad in sub-freezing February weather. The game started with both teams trading goals and the Vols pushed to a 5-4 lead in the first quarter, however the home team put together a string of goals and took a 14-5 lead to the half. The Vols fought back in the 4th quarter, but fell short in a 14-10 loss. The young team showed a willingness to fight to the end, which bodes well for the rest of the season.
The game Saturday against Texas Tech was an excellent showing by the Vols in a 15-3 victory. However the weekend games took a toll, with several key players being injured, a trend that would continue the following week.
The following weekend the Vols faced one of the better teams in the SELC when the USC Gamecocks traveled to Knoxville. A close early game was blown open in the second half with USC scoring liberally despite a very strong performance by the Vols goalie Ben Kaemmerer. The loss was a chance to see what it takes to compete with the best in the league. Again the Vols were limited by injuries and were forced to play without 4 starters, however a number of players stepped in and gained valuable experience against a very skilled team.